Some of Chicago's aldermanic races are getting intense -- or downright dirty, depending on your point of view.
Take the 32nd Ward, where incumbent Ald. Scott Waguespack is seeking re-election versus three challengers. In a recent e-blast, Waguespack said a Florida-based firm was "push polling" 32nd Ward residents, distorting his positions:
My opponents' push poll begins with a Florida-based caller asking questions about the mayoral election. It then quickly devolves into 15-20 minutes of distortions, personal attacks, and flat-out lies about my record and reform agenda. For example, the caller asserts that our ward "lost out on hundreds of thousands of dollars that were supposed to be used to repair the ward", because I "never submitted requests to the city to fix potholes and sidewalks." This is false.
Over in the 27th Ward, Tom Courtney, who is challenging Ald. Walter Burnett, created a website that implies an endorsement from the City of Chicago, displaying a big official city seal in the upper left-hand corner, while subtly and not-so-subtly criticizing Burnett. The site does not specifically state it was created by Courtney; you have to click over to his official campaign page for that. While offering "Free Legal Advice," Courtney's site manages to bring up the armed robbery Burnett committed when he was a teenager and tries to link him to ex-Gov. George Ryan, who is in jail for corruption.
The site also -- ahem -- pulled a photo of Burnett from Chicago Journal, where this reporter formerly worked. Here's the original shot from the Journal and the one Courtney's site edited and uses.
(Full disclosure: the SEIU State Council, which sponsors this website, has endorsed both Waguespack and Burnett, as have a number of other organizations.)
UPDATE (4:43 p.m.): Courtney's site has removed the photo of Burnett from Chicago Journal.